Muthaiga Country Club celebrated its Centenary amidst an evening of New Year splendour, sirikisa dancers, much popping of champagne corks, an array of sumptuous dishes and dancing by nearly 400 members into the wee hours – and more until dawn. Members were in jubilant mood – becoming of its great traditions spanning ten decades from that first evening on 31 December 1913 when a mere fourteen founding members launched the establishment as darkening clouds of war scurried across Europe and Eastern Africa. So it was thought that a Centenary commemoration in scrapbook style was appropriate to mark such a historic milestone in the Club’s long existence.
We are taken on a safari from the Club’s earliest days to the Republic of Kenya at Fifty today. There is a rich store of accounts and vignettes from the settler farmers – gentry and pioneer, the romantics – yes Karen Blixen, Dennis Finch Hatton and Joss Errol, a strong sprinkling of royalty, film stars, and eccentrics to the giants of the post-independence era. Equally, no Club builds ‘character’ unless those who have served as waiters, barmen, chefs and administrative staff can have their stories told. Several accounts add great colour to this book.
The Club’s ability to remain a catalyst for those in Kenyan society of all cultures, creeds and races able to embrace the future and make changes, whilst fiercely protecting the Club’s traditional values, flows through the text and images. The members’ appetite to enjoy that precious mix of gracious living, good-humoured social interchange and friendship in a place where fine food, wine, and excellent amenities abound – all within a rapidly growing metropolis, shines forth.
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